Respected technology site All Things D reported speculated several weeks ago that September 10 was the likely date for an “Apple Event”, and with All Things D getting this right more than a few times before we had no reason to doubt it – that speculation was proven to be spot on overnight when Apple invitations confirmed the September 10 event. So what is Apple planning and just when will the new iPhone be launched?
(Post UPDATED on September 4 to reflect the confirmed event and date)
It is easily the most common question I get asked on the radio and by people I meet – “when is the next iPhone coming out”. Before Apple’s last big event – the WWDC – I speculated that August was a likely time for the new iPhone and I was pretty close if these reports are proven when the invitations hit the email inbox of invited Journalists in the weeks before September 10.
The event will be held in the mid-morning of September 10 in the USA, making it the wee small hours of the morning of September the 11th here in Australia.
So let’s break this down and look at what may or may not come out.
Certain. In this fast-paced world, dominated by smartphones, no company can afford to leave too big a gap between product releases. Apple’s iPhone 5 was a big change in design and capability with a thinner profile and larger screen. This year I expect a phone (iPhone 5S) with a very similar look – if not identical, but packed with upgrades on the inside.
A new and improved camera, new and faster processor, overall new components that will make it lighter once again. These are the standard changes Apple makes year after year and has to if it is to demonstrate continuous improvement.
A fingerprint scanner is rumoured, and while this sounds fun, it’s hard to imagine quite frankly. NFC (Near field communications – the technology in your new bank cards that allows you to “tap and go”) has been off the table for Apple, but I wonder if these fingerprint rumours might just be part of a new style of communication Apple is looking toward.
NFC is fantastic, but poorly supported in the financial world outside of the physical credit or debit cards. If the likes of Visa and MasterCard were to perhaps enter into an agreement to have Apple iPhone users store their “credit cards” in a virtual wallet – like Apple’s “Passbook” – then a phenomenal shift in transactional payments would occur. When you have the weight of Apple behind you things change fast. But security will always be at question, so adding a fingerprint scanner is a great way to reassure consumers the system is safe. Open your phone, the passbook app – choose your card and scan your fingerprint to enable the NFC to work. Sounds perfect to me.
But – I doubt it will happen. Apple is putting their eggs in the wireless space through airplay and airdrop – ways of sharing content to other devices including phones. So NFC would seem to run contrary to that, however I don’t see a time when the mobile phone can be your wallet, phone and organiser all at once without NFC so I still place this firmly on the radar of possible features. This year? Unlikely.
What of the iPhone 4 and 4S – still on sale now as more affordable purchases Apple has for some time kept its “older models” on the market to keep the cost of entry down. However both those devices use the now out-dated 30pin dock connector which has been replaced by the “lightning dock” connector and can be found on the iPhone 5, iPad min and iPad as well as iPod touch.
Enter the new low-cost iPhone. Perhaps known as the iPhone 5C according to some online reports. This would share the screen size and resolution of the 5 and 5S, but wouldn’t have the total grunt of the latest model. It would be capable of almost everything the 5S is, but would be finished in a less expensive material. Perhaps a plastic outer available in multiple colours as Apple have done before with their iPod range.
The low-cost phone has been long rumoured, but this year I think more than ever it has more likelihood than ever.
So, expect a new iPhone 5S, and a range of colourful lower cost iPhones to be announced on September 11, with availability likely on September 20 or 27 globally.
Possible, but unlikely. I still have no doubts we will get new iPads this year. As I’ve said earlier in the year, expect a smaller overall form-factor to the iPad while maintaining screen size, and expect some improvements to the iPad mini – most likely a retina display.
However, will they be announced at the same event as the iPhone? Only if Apple has just one phone. If there is no low-cost iPhone then this even could likely be iPhone and iPad combined.
That said, I think it more likely Apple will hold a second event in mid-October to announce the new range of iPads. iPads would be available late October to allow for a solid pre-Christmas rush in the main launch markets.
Nope. Simple as that, won’t happen – this year
Nope. Again, it’s something they must be looking at, must be working on, but Apple don’t just do stuff because it should or can. This has to be done and done right. There is no rush, and an early 2014 launch would suit well to space out once again their many announcements each year.
That’s what I think – for the record. What do you think?